Ashe Birthing Services - created and led by Emilie Rodriguez, with Janee Aiken, Guramrit LeBron, and Ariel de Roche - is a small group of birth and postpartum doulas of color (based in the Bronx, NY) that work together to provide full spectrum services to the families we serve. We are an extension of our village, and we extend that to our clients. Our respective experiences as doulas and mothers have exposed us to the reality that doulas offer a level of care that is vital, yet under-utilized, within U.S. maternal care. We especially focus on serving the people in our community since doula support can drastically impact birthing outcomes.
In NYC, Black birthing people are 12x more likely to die of complications related to childbirth than our white counterparts, and that was before this pandemic. Doulas are saving lives, but our community can no longer afford to hire us. Support in birth is a human right. With only some hospitals allowing doulas in NYC, we have continued to support our families the best way we can, offering virtual and in-person home support in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It’s making a difference. Doulas offer a steady hand in a world of uncertainty, representing only the people we serve. We do this through information, access, informed decision making, physical and mental preparation, guided meditation/vocalization, touch, help getting into a ritual, affirmation and wisdom of what’s normal, partner support, and professional experience.
Research shows that with a doula there is:
50% reduction in the cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in pitocin use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
Improved breastfeeding rates
Reported satisfaction with birth experience
Decreased postpartum depression
(Source: Evidence Based Birth)
During COVID times, we have applied for 26 grants and haven’t received a single one. We have also applied for PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) and are still waiting for it to be processed 2.5 months later. Community, we need your help so we can help families in need.
Your contribution would go towards:
- Providing birthing people in our community with doula support who cannot afford
- Providing new parents with lactation support
- Providing pregnant people in need of childbirth education
- Food preparation and delivery and/or herbs for our newly postpartum families in need
- Administrative and operational costs such as transportation to and from the families we serve, PPE, Covid testing, etc.
- The Ashe team’s sustainability so we can continue to do this work
Thank you so much,
Emilie Rodriguez and the Ashe Team